A systematic review of the impact of foreign postings on accompanying spouses of military personnel


Gillian Blakely C/o Heather Skirton, Faculty of Health, Education and Society, Wellington Rd, Taunton TA1 5YD, UK. Email: gillian.blakely@plymouth.ac.uk


Military spouses frequently cope with separation, but limited research reviewing the impact of an overseas relocation when a spouse accompanies their serving husband/wife has been conducted. A search for studies reviewing the impact of foreign postings on these accompanying spouses was undertaken utilizing 12 databases and other resources. Ultimately, 12 studies were analyzed and four key themes produced: functioning of a military family on an international posting, loss, wellbeing and support. Overall, additional stressors are associated with an overseas posting and experiences are specific to an individual and their circumstances. Further research is required to examine the potential relationship between a spouse's experiences overseas and the impact on their health and wellbeing. This would help to identify possible areas of health care provision and support necessary to maximize a military spouse's experience.